Monday, July 17th
Devotional written by Pastor Jason McMaster, Executive Pastor
RELYING ON OUR OWN STRENGTH IS A PRECARIOUS PATH
To read today: 1 Samuel 29
But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master’s favor than by taking the heads of our own men?
1 Samuel 29:4-5
David has been running from Saul for years. Frustrated and exhausted, David continues trying to evade King Saul. Sadly, David allows his heart to turn far from the Lord and finds himself aligning with a Philistine king. In this passage, David’s desire is to fight alongside King Achish; however, Achish’s commanders warn him that David is an influential leader and may ultimately turn against them. They remind Saul of a song that points to David’s success as a powerful military leader. David is already a legend there, as well as in Israel. The king tells David that he and his men cannot join them in the fight against Israel. This news hurts David’s feelings. He feels lost and finds himself with no allies, so he decides to head home.
Thankfully, the Lord does not allow him to join this fight against Saul. David is tired, weary, and in a bad place. Relying on his own strength and legacy, David tries to find more success. By God’s grace, the Lord does not allow David to take his army to fight against Israel. Had he shed blood against his own people, his entire legacy as the future king would have changed forever. Instead of potentially being known as a man after God’s own heart and one of the best kings of Israel, he may have been known as one of the worst traitors in Israel’s history.
During this low point in David’s life, the Lord saves him from diving deeper into sin. David was far from the Lord, but by His grace, he isn’t allowed to dive deeper into sin. Can you remember a time when the Lord brought you out of a dark season?
Final Thought: For today: Have you examined your heart and looked to the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts, choices, and actions? Are you giving your best time to the Lord? Are you leaving enough margin in your life for your family? Today, surrender to His Spirit. Offer to do what pleases God and only what pleases God.